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Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund SEMCOG Data and Services to Assist with Application Requirements

Walking bridge over small streamThe Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) is an annual grant program managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that provides funding to local governments, school districts, and the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority.

The foundation of the MNRTF includes natural resource based protection and use (land acquisition projects) and natural resource based recreation opportunities (development projects). Beginning in 2009, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board of Trustees adopted a revised set of criteria to evaluate applications to the Fund. The revised criterion includes special consideration for projects that incorporate collaboration, urban areas, trails, and renovation of an existing park, among other things.

Lisa McTiernan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Grant Coordinator, describes the key points of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund application process in this DNR Trust Fund interview (.MOV).

Data and Publications
SEMCOG has various GIS layers and other data that can be utilized to assist in development of an application. Most of this information is available on SEMCOG’s web site at For more information, please contact Stephanie Taylor at 313-324-3362 or

SEMCOG Grant Application Review Services
SEMCOG provides review services for our members submitting Natural Resources Trust Fund applications. Following are two specific areas in which SEMCOG can provide assistance. In order to manage our time, we ask that you allow SEMCOG adequate time to review the application.

  • SEMCOG’s Transportation Department can review applications for access, walkability, and overall traffic flow pattern for safety and convenience of vehicles, pedestrians, bicycle riders, and wheelchairs. Contact Jennifer Evans at 313-324-3306 or for more information.
  • SEMCOG’s Environment Department can review grant applications for stormwater management opportunities. Contact Amy Mangus at 313-324-3350 or for more information.

Additional Resources
For more information on the Trust Fund, including a list of project types, applications, and guidelines, please visit the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Web site. Presentation given at SEMCOG on October 15th, 2009: Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Recreation Grants Program (PPT, 8.1 MB).

Low Impact Development (LID)

Curbside bioretention area

Stormwater design, criteria, and methodology can be accessed through the Low Impact Development Manual for Michigan:
A Design Guide for Implementers and Reviewers

Transportation Enhancement Program


The Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) Transportation Enhancement Program is a federally funded grant program that can be leveraged to match State funds, such as the MNRTF.

Disability Network of Michigan
The Disability Network of Michigan facilitates collective work that results in a strong and statewide voice striving to meet the needs of the 1.9 million people in Michigan who have a disability. The Disability Network can assist grant applicants in determining universal access needs for their recreation development projects.

The seven counties of Southeast Michigan have resources available to assist local communities in developing a grant application for the MNRTF. Common information and activities that may be available include:

  • Use of GIS data and resources
  • Access to county-wide Recreation Plans
  • Census data
  • Grant writing and review experience
  • Trails Advisory Councils
  • Watershed Advisory Groups, which may have recreation-type projects scoped and identified in their Watershed Management Plans.

Please contact your county to determine the specific information and activities that may be available to your community:

County  Contact Information 
Livingston Livingston County Planning Dept.
Macomb Macomb County Planning and Economic Development
Monroe Monroe County Planning Department
Oakland Oakland County Planning and Economic Development
St. Clair St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission
Washtenaw Washtenaw County Planning and Environment
Wayne Wayne County Department of Environment